Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What is it good for? (Edwin Starr) Part 3

Let's turn from the dark side and embrace the good in vertical forms.


  1. Creates a more cohesive and friendlier school community where students know and work with students from other years ("like a family").
  2. Emphasises students as individuals, not just members of a large group.
  3. Bullying is reduced, as older students see younger ones as members of their tutor group with whom they associate on a daily basis.
  4. More opportunities for student leadership within their tutor group and house.
  5. Easily accessible positive role models for younger students.
  6. Increased opportunities for students to develop their social skills through working with students of different ages, in preparation for adult life.
  7. Students support one another and understand the stages that they will go through as they move through the school. This has the potential to increase aspiration and motivation.
  8. Tutors get to know information for every year group, which is often of great relevance during their teaching sessions.
  9. Tutors can attend to small numbers of students at once, at critical times for them, e.g. new intake, option choices, work experience.
  10. Tutors develop a "whole school" experience and understanding of progression that makes them a stronger tutor.
  11. Reduces opportunities for "gangs" to form.
  12. Enables greater flexibility for intake numbers, as a new vertical tutor group can be more easily created than a tutor group all of one year group.
  13. Enables greater flexibility for the curriculum as learning groups will not need to be based on tutor groups.
  14. In conjunction with a House system creates a deep sense of belonging.
  15. Positions the House system at the heart of the organisational culture of a school.
  16. Allows all staff to share in the experience as usually smaller tutor groups mean more need for non teaching staff to become tutor group leaders. 

The testaments to success are many and varied. Here are some from Principals in the U.K.

  • Vertical tutoring has had a “dramatic” effect on pupils’ behaviour and, most importantly, their aspirations.
  • “It is the single most transformative thing that we have done in school,” she says. “The relationships and dynamics have vastly improved.”
  • “What vertical tutoring does is provide a new learning support operation that replaces the factory model and adds operational coherence. It builds value in and requires no social programmes and no cost other than time to learn. It transforms the culture of schools by positively building inclusive learning relationships and partnerships.


This had me at 'creates' but replacing the factory model? Yeah baby!

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